2014 – A Year Without Toast?

toast by ginnerobot

Since discovering that my picky now seven year old has severe food sensitivities and allergies, that include soy, nuts, wheat, honey, eggs and dairy, I have spent hours scouring the Internet for recipes that I can modify that taste good and accommodate the dietary needs of my family.
For me, the biggest challenge has been breakfast. I LOVE breakfast… big hearty breakfasts that include eggs in all forms, omelets, frittatas, clafoutis, pastries… you get the idea. Well, the egg has left the building, so to speak, and our kitchen is now egg free.

Our kitchen is also wheat/gluten free (GF), which brings one of egg’s best friends, toast, into the picture. We are fortunate in Portland to have a wide array of options when it comes to GF bread. Needless to say, GF toast has been a mainstay in our breakfast menu these past several months. Toast with butter and jam. Toast with avocado. Toast with hummus and sprouts. Go toast! And did I mention how easy it is to make toast?

However, as I spent time over the holidays reviewing our food intake, menus and habits, I realized we had fallen into a big breakfast rut starring toast. Now with 2014 in motion, I decided that instead of a resolution, I would create a challenge for myself, which was quite simple. Plan a week of breakfasts without toast.

The no-toast-breakfast challenge begins.

To be clear, I still love toast and we’ll keep it as a back up for a couple mornings a week. However, I want out of this rut. It’s been a little too easy and frankly, I’m bored. The second half of the challenge is finding recipes that my daughter can and will eat that also appeal to my husband and me.

So, what did the breakfast menu include this week? One morning there was hummus and roasted veggies. One morning there was a quinoa and apple cinnamon crisp and another day there were plantain spiders – shredded plantains, baked with garlic and ginger – to give you an idea.

toast by ginnerobot

One of the best new breakfast dishes I recently encountered was introduced to me by one of our Wholistic Nutrition Program (WNP) students, Pumpkin Pie Amaranth Porridge. She discovered it on a fabulous blog post by Sarah Britton, My New Roots. (See recipe re-print below.) Our students are always looking for new recipes, as they are required each month to create real, whole foods based meals as part of their program training. It’s like a recipe tree.

Practical inspiration from WNP food prep Saturdays.

I love WNP student food prep Saturdays. There’s morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack. Students scour cookbooks, the Internet and their own creativity to develop dishes for their classmates. Their dishes include nutritional information and energetics. By the time they graduate, they have an incredible set of reference recipes they can use for themselves and their future clients to help inspire them to eat yummy, healthy food that meets a plethora of dietary needs.

By the way, if you are interested, our next program starts March 8th & 9th. We are accepting applications now. It’s first come, first serve, so I recommend you get applications in soon. To download a student catalogue and find application materials, check out our Wholistic Nutrition Programs page on our website or call 503.688.1482.

Kicking off a year of kitchen discoveries.

To close out my story, the porridge was super tasty and helped round out a week’s worth of recipes without toast. I confess I feel reinvigorated on the breakfast front. Nothing we made this week was overly time consuming, expensive or difficult to make, and it was all delicious.

So, look out 2014! There are more recipes to discover and I’m going to find you! But don’t worry strawberry jam and butter. There’s still a place for you both on a piece or two of golden toast.

Pumpkin Pie Amaranth Porridge (by Sarah Britton, My New Roots)
See original here.
Serves 2
1/2 cup amaranth, soaked for 8 hrs or more
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1/2 cup water
pinch of sea salt

pinch of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg clove
1/3 vanilla bean pod

Maple syrup to taste

1/3 cup coconut flakes toasted

Soak amaranth for as long as possible, 8 hours minimum, 24 hours is optimal.
 Drain and rinse amaranth. Combine with coconut milk, pumpkin puree, salt, spices, and vanilla bean (seeds scrapped from pod). I confess I just used 1 tsp vanilla extract. 
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring often. Cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Adding extra water or coconut milk if mixture becomes too thick. Turn off heat and allow to sit 10 minutes with lid on to thicken.
Sweeten with maple syrup to taste (1-2 tablespoons)
. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and drizzle with more coconut milk if desired.

Photo by ginnerobots on FLickr.

SCHOOL CLOSURE - THE WELLSPRING SCHOOL WILL BE CLOSED AFTER 12PM TODAY DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER. ALL OF TUESDAY'S (12/20) CLASSES ARE CANCELLED!
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